Would You Read It Wednesday #63 – Scooter Annie Braves The Hill (PB), Straight From The Editor #13, AND The Halloweensie Contest!!!

Holy Jack-O-Lanterns Batman!

Why didn’t anyone remind me that I forgot to post the Halloweensie Contest Rules on Monday???!!!  Now we’ve got a gigantic post for today!  So that’s it.  No chitchat!  We’re getting right down to business!

First things first.  It’s Would You Read It Wednesday, so grab your Something Chocolate!  Care to join me for some chocolate cheesecake?

Chocolate Cheesecake… YUM!!!
Photo copyright Stacy Jensen 2012 used by permission

You know, usually I can rationalize the chocolate into some form of acceptable breakfast, but this one eludes me.  Just enjoy 🙂

Now then.  Straight From The Editor for the September Pitch Pick, which you will recall was won by the lovely Elizabeth with her pitch for Buff The Magic Dragon.

Buff The Magic Dragon
Picture Book, ages 4-8
The Pitch: Buff the Magic Dragon is afraid of EVERYTHING. But when his magic trick-gone-wrong lands the baby Princess Ponypants in the tentacles of Captain Meanie Bones Jones, Buff must swallow his fear to save her. 

Here are editor Erin Molta’s comments:

This is cute. I think it would work better if instead of saying “swallow his fear” you say, “overcome his fear”. Because when swallow is used it’s almost always about swallowing one’s pride and I think you’d rather have the connotation being strong. Then I think you might want to be a tad more specific about what fear he is overcoming. I know he’s afraid of everything but if he is to rescue Princess Ponypants(cute name!) from Captain Meanie Bones Jones, he’ll need to face that fear directly. So perhaps Buff must overcome his fear of  . . . eight-legged purple sea monsters or his fear of water in order to do battle with the Captain . . .

I don’t know about you, but I always find Erin’s thoughts very helpful!

Moving right along, we have today’s pitch from Carrie who blogs over at Story Patch and who, if you’ve spent any time around here at all, you will recognize as the pitch doctor 🙂  She has an uncanny ability to take any pitch, keep what’s best, and fix what needs help.  But it’s always a different matter when it comes to your own work, isn’t it?  So today she’s asking for your help.  Let’s see if she needs any 🙂

Working Title: Scooter Annie Braves The Hill
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: When Annie gets a new scooter, she can’t wait to ride. She loves swooping down her driveway and gliding along the sidewalk. But if Annie wants to ride in the neighborhood parade, she must find a way to conquer her fears and tackle the biggest hill in town.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Carrie improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)
Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in January, so you have time to polish 🙂 for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!
Carrie is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  And I am looking forward to presenting The Halloweensie Contest!!!

Are you ready?

What is that noise in the dark of night?

It’s coming closer…

…and closer…

*dramatic Hollywood scream*  AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

It’s the (2nd Annual!) HALLOWEENSIE CONTEST!!!!!


courtesy google images

The Contest:  write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (title not included in the 100 words), using the words witchbat, and “trick-or-treat.   Your story can be scary, funny or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over!)  Get it?  Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 🙂

Post your story on your blog on Wednesday October 31 and link up here (and I’m really hoping we don’t get 2 feet of snow that knocks out the power and the internet this year!!!)  If you don’t have a blog and would like to enter, you can simply copy and paste your entry in the comments section of the Wednesday October 31 official contest blog post that will go up here.

The Judge: my lovely assistant and I will narrow down the entrants to three (hee hee hee – you know how much trouble I have with only 3, so we’ll see) top choices which will be posted here and voted on for a winner.

The Prize:  Okay.  Seriously?  I think this is a good prize 🙂  The winner will receive 5 (that’s FIVE!) brand new picture books personalized and signed by the authors!  These 5 awesome books are: PUZZLED BY PINK by Sarah Frances Hardy, THE MONSTER WHO LOST HIS MEAN by Tiffany Strelitz Haber, THE THREE NINJA PIGS by Corey Rosen Schwartz, MARATHON MOUSE by Amy Dixon, and FLAP! by Alison Hertz.  Great to keep for your own collection or to give to little ones in your life as holiday gifts 🙂

Doesn’t that sound like fun?  Last year this was the very first writing contest I ever had on my blog, and I think we got 8 entries.  I’m really really hoping we get lots more this year – it’s fun, it’s not too long (one might even call it short and sweet :)), it has to do with Halloween, which makes you think of candy, which is pretty much synonymous with chocolate… – so really, what could be better? 🙂

So get those thinking caps on – you’ve got a whole week to come up with a 100 word kids’ Halloween story! (and I’ve already given your three of the words 🙂 witchbat, and “trick-or-treat“) – and, since I went and distracted you with the contest, everyone please remember to leave your thoughts on Carrie’s pitch!

Have a lovely Wednesday, my friends 🙂

89 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #63 – Scooter Annie Braves The Hill (PB), Straight From The Editor #13, AND The Halloweensie Contest!!!

  1. Renee LaTulippe says:

    That Carrie writes tight, that's all I can say! Nary a word out of place. So yes, I would read it! The only thing I might change is exactly what Erin talked about in her pitch critique for Elizabeth – be more specific about WHICH fear Annie needs to face. I had a NASTY run-in with a steep hill when I was 10 (still have a scar!), so I can relate to the big hill dilemma. 🙂

    As for the contest…we have a week, you say? Hmm….I just might be able to swing that! I really want to!!!! I will try!!!!!!!!! No, I will DO IT!!!!!

  2. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your comments for Carrie, Renee! And YAY! I'm so excited you're thinking of entering the contest! I can't wait!!! As for Stacy's recipes, yes, I'm right there with you on that. We could save some time by just adding it to the bottom of the post 🙂

  3. Angela Brown says:

    That chocolate cheesecake had me drooling. Sorry, had to clean up the mess lol!!

    I think Renee hit the nail on the head for the pitch. Otherwise, Yes, I would read it.

  4. Iza Trapani says:

    I give credit to great editors like Erin, who have that x-ray vision to zero in on those barely visible spots that could use a little tweaking. Her suggestions are right on. I would also suggest that Carrie be a little more specific about Annie's fear. And yes, I would read the story. It sounds delightful!
    Stacy's cheesecake pic made me drool all over my keyboard! Thanks a lot ladies 🙂

  5. pennyklostermann says:

    Stacy…I am licking my monitor…delicious! And that's just left over cocoa. I can't imagine how much better that chocolate cheesecake would taste.

    Erin is always helpful. I look forward to her input each month.

    Carrie~I would read. I, too, think Renee gave excellent input. That was what I was thinking…to put the hill more “up front.”

    Ooooo….Halloweensie!!! That sounds frighteningly fun!

  6. Robyn Campbell says:

    Stacy! I gotta have some of that cheesecake. Even with my jaw swollen, that made me cry it looks so good. RECIPE PLEASE!!!

    Erin is soo cool! I always save her suggestions for a time when I might need them.

    Carrie, love the word conquer. It is so SPOT on specific and says so much in that one itty-bitty word. I also love the word swooping. Excellent! The story sounds wonderful. I would definitely read it. I'm guessing her biggest fear is the big hill. Fear that she will get hurt in a big way. Right?

    If my mouth feels better I'll try the contest. Right now, I am not able to anything but complain and cry. 😦

  7. Carrie Finison says:

    Thank you, Renee! After reading Erin's advice for Elizabeth, I thought the same thing myself. I also had a hill encounter on my Big Wheel when I was 4 or 5. Ouch.

  8. Carrie Finison says:

    Thank you so much for posting my pitch, Susanna. I'm already seeing ways to make it stronger. And my ears are perking up at the Halloween contest. 100 words, yikes! I'll put my witch's hat on and set to work…

  9. Tina Cho says:

    Excellent pitch, Carrie. After reading Erin's pitch help, I'd say to specify Annie's fear…fear of heights? Yes, I've already read it and would read it again!

    The chocolate cheesecake pie looks so yummy!

    I'll think about the Halloween contest. Sounds fun.

  10. Sidney Schuhmann Levesque says:

    Carrie, I do like your pitch, and I do think I would read it. It comes at a perfect time for us as we just bought our 2.25-year-old her first tricycle this weekend, and she's learning to ride it. But she has no fear. “Go fast! Go fast!” she tells us.

  11. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Love the sweet treat. 🙂 Thanks, Susanna, for always providing yummy sustenance for us. 🙂
    Love the suggestions that Erin gives…when you read them, you say to yourself, “Why didn't I see that?” 🙂
    Love Carrie's pitch…well, I love Carrie's entire story, having read it in our critique group. 🙂 The suggestions already given are great ones…but the pitch as written would make me want to grab the book. 🙂
    Love the Halloweensie Contest. 🙂 I'll be scribbling at work today if I can. 🙂
    That's LOVE times four…perfect for moving the week along. 🙂

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You are very welcome, Carrie! Thanks for being brave enough to pitch! And yes! The Halloweensie Contest is tons of fun so I hope you'll join us! It's a challenge, but not only is there a great prize, you also get some serious bragging rights if you win such an illustrious contest! 🙂

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Hahaha! Penny you made me laugh! Left over cocoa 🙂 Thanks for your comments for Carrie, and I hope you'll join the Halloweensie fun! I don't think you had joined this crowd yet last year when we had it… the contest is calling you!

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for you comments for Carrie, Robyn. And chocolate cheesecake is very soft and just exactly the kind of thing the doctor would prescribe for a sore mouth 🙂 And writing for the Halloweensie Contest will take your mind off your pain! And just think of the bragging rights if you win!!! 🙂

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thanks for your thoughts for Carrie, Sidney, and good luck with your little dickens 🙂 I hope your thinking cap is on for the contest – after your Summer Send-Off entry I'm looking forward to more great stories from you 🙂

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Yes, I remember your thanksgiving and holiday contest entries 🙂

    pennyklostermann wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    You're right. I met your blog in November last year!

    Link to comment
    IP address: 74.196.64.155

  17. Carrie Finison says:

    Thanks so much, Robyn. I appreciate hearing so specifically what you like about the pitch — that helps me know what not to change at least. 🙂

  18. Sidney Schuhmann Levesque says:

    Susanna, yes I am entering the Halloweensie contest (love that name). I have my story written, just going through the critiquing process!

  19. Alison Kipnis Hertz says:

    Carrie, your opening implies that Annie hasn't ridden the scooter yet so maybe adding the word “everyday” at the end would tell the reader how much she wants to ride. In the next line, if you add that the driveway is sloped and riding up and down the sidewalk, or that the driveway and sidewalk are flat, we will be more concerned about the super hill contrast in the parade route. I would read it because Annie has to conquer a fear and my own children could learn coping skills applicable to their own fears. Cute idea.

    Susanna, the contest sounds great. Thinking about what I will put together that is under 100 words. Prose or verse, that is the question. : )

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    OMG! I don't even have my sample written yet! Yikes! You are speedy 🙂

    Sidney Schuhmann Levesque (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Susanna, yes I am entering the Halloweensie contest (love that name). I have my story written, just going through the critiquing process!

    Link to comment
    IP address: 150.252.11.20

  21. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments for Carrie, Alison! As for the contest, I have to say, people seem to have an easier time with the word count when they do poetry, but rhyming can be a challenge too, so it's a toss up 🙂 Can't wait to read your entry! 🙂 For that matter, I can't wait to read my sample… I hope I write it 🙂

  22. Alison Kipnis Hertz says:

    : ) Carrie's concept is good. I love reading different ways that children get passed their fears and the scooter idea is current. Who doesn't live a parade at the end? Will draft my idea and see whether the words flow in poetry or prose. I'll let them tell this teeny weenie story.

  23. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Looking forward to it 🙂

    Alison Kipnis Hertz wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    : ) Carrie's concept is good. I love reading different ways that children get passed their fears and the scooter idea is current. Who doesn't live a parade at the end? Will draft my idea and see whether the words flow in poetry or prose. I'll let them tell this teeny weenie story.

    User's website
    Link to comment
    IP address: 24.98.27.67

  24. julierowanzoch says:

    Great comments from Erin, again! Totally did not 'hear' that with swallow!

    Yes I'd read it – we consider the scooter to be an important 'step' in learning to ride a bike (no training wheels!) so I am interested already. Sorry to start off with wanting to change the title, but Scooter Annie implies she is already a master, identified by friends by her scooter skills. Scaredy Kitty would be a funny alternative, but I have stepped in too far now with changing her name! The pitch itself: I'd only tighten sentence 3: 'But to ride in the neighborhood parade, Annie must conquer her fears…' Otherwise I'm hooked!

    Susanna, thanks, but no thanks to chocolate cheesecake. I am no purist, but I don't believe cheese and chocolate should be mixed! Both go well with berries though! Now back to work on my Halloweensie! The prizes sound scrumptious!

  25. Carrie Finison says:

    Hi Julie, thanks for weighing in. No need to apologize, it's helpful to hear everyone's opinions and thoughts, and their reasoning behind them. I like your fix to sentence 3, too.

  26. coleen patrick says:

    Yes to the pitch! I actually said “Aw” out loud when I got to the part about the big hill. I love stories like this. 🙂 Even more than chocolate pie. Although that photo is super yummy looking!

  27. larissamarks says:

    I'm totally a yes for your book, Carrie! What kid doesn't love parades and scooters? Also, I love that Annie's fear of the hill is so concrete. My three-year-old son would definitely relate to her overcoming her fears.

  28. Julie Hedlund says:

    Carrie, I'd read the book and oddly enough, given how popular they are, I can't recall a single PB involving scooters. I do, however, think the title gives too much away. We already know she is going to conquer the hill, so I think you should play around with it so as not to give the story away.

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